Monday, August 26, 2013
Astronomy Versus Astrology
If I had a dollar for every time someone in casual conversation had called me an astrologer or astrologist (instead of an astronomer), my retirement funding would be a lot more secure. Often, it's an honest mistake, where the speaker really does understand that astronomy is a science and simply isn't sure of the science's proper name. What's much worse is when I run into a "true believer" in astrology, who thinks that our personality, our character, and our destiny is shaped by the arrangement of stars and the position of celestial objects at the moment of our birth.
Some years ago, I wrote an article for Sky & Telescope magazine setting out an astronomer's reaction to astrology. A much revised and updated version is now on-line, thanks to the Astronomical Society of the Pacific. If you have wondered about astrology and what to say to those who believe in it, this short article may assist you. At the very least, you might find it amusing. In it, I also describe a new field for predicting things called "jetology" (where your future is determined by the position of all the jumbo jets at the moment of your birth.) The article is in PDF file format at:http://www.astrosociety.org/astrology.pdf